Michael Callahan, or Mike to his friends and we were the closest thing that night, told us the lieutenant Governor had cancelled stating scheduling conflict. We all feigned regret, preferring the company of total strangers to those of the high and mighty, though by the looks of the posh cars in the street outside a few of the remaining patrons could well afford the work that was hanging on the walls and starting at $25,000.
Jenny was off somewhere talking to the couple from Toronto. We should have seen it coming after all we had been to her shows and it’s not quite socializing, more like warming people up, kind of like pre-selling. If they don’t know you and like you – you don’t have a chance. It’s not even about the art at that point, it’s about your personality and Jenny was carrying it off quite nicely even though this was not her show. I thought about how close this must be to car sales. The buyer is looking for a car and has even done their homework on the model, but when it comes down to the final selection it’s all the salesperson.
Jeffrey and Len it turned out were not a couple at all, just really close friends. They lived together in Toronto to save on rent, neither one of them becoming married after school. They just looked – well, lets call them urban and it showed my small town prejudices. They were actually very friendly and we joked about how we never met them during college to which they chalked it up to their new stylists.
It didn’t take as long as I had thought but it was around 10:30 and the group that had become larger with the addition of Mike, Len and Jeffrey, along with the Author James Bradley and his wife were getting slightly bored and were also feeling tipsy to say the least. That’s when Johnny came up with the idea.
“Hey Roberta, we should all go out to your place and jump in your hot-tub we never see getting used. A couple of these folks come from Toronto and it would be a shame not to show them some of the Southwestern Ontario hospitality by putting them up for the night. Think of it as the after party.” Bradley and his wife said they had an early rise and would be leaving soon but the other three were impressed enough to say “sure, we’d be into it. Sounds like a party.”
I wasn’t that sure but Roberta’s was a pretty safe place to crash and we were with friends so what the hell. I spoke up. “Roberta? What do you say? We certainly haven’t had a house party in a long time. I think the last was Johnny’s thirtieth and there were a hundred people there. This seems a little more relaxed tonight.”
“Hey I don’t mind,” said Roberta, “we have a lawyer with us so if anyone slips and falls I’ll be suing you for a change.”
It was the second time I drove out to Roberta’s that day in the GT. I guess you can trust that crazy Johnny will have a couple more than everyone else. Perhaps Jenny liked the wildness – they say that’s attractive to women. I’m not so sure when you get older. He loved her to death though.